The Houston Texans Dismantled the Cleveland Browns on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
This result puts the Texans in a spot that nobody in the world could have seen them in. Last season, Houston was one of the worst teams in the NFL, going 3-13-1. They drafted both CJ Stroud and Will Anderson #2 and #3 overall. Both of these players have had a huge impact throughout the season leading the Texans to where they are now.
Being able to host the Browns gave Houston a huge advantage in this game. This was only made possible due to a Titans win over the Jaguars last week, which led to the Texans winning the AFC South and gaining rights to the last home slot.
Texans Big Time Performances
Stroud showcased why he should win the Rookie of the Year award, throwing for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 76% of his passes. This is a very promising start to the young quarterback's career, and Houston believes they can continue to cause mayhem in the postseason.
Nico Collins also had a very good game, proving himself as Stroud's top target. Collins went for 96 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. He has been a top target for Stroud all season and will carry the majority of the receiving load throughout the rest of the playoffs.
The Texans defense also played a huge role in the game, putting it on ice in the third quarter after having back-to-back interceptions returned for touchdowns. They were able to beat Cleveland at their own game and dominated the Brown’s offense. Houston also sacked Joe Flacco four times, while the Browns never got home to Stroud.
The Browns were kept out of the endzone for almost the final three-quarters of the game. After scoring early in the second quarter to take a 14-10 lead, they never again scored and failed to even move the ball efficiently.
Unlike the matchup a few weeks ago, Amari Cooper was shut down, and the passing game was never able to get going. The Browns also established no running game. Kareem Hunt only had 26 rushing yards on eight carries, which is never a recipe for success. Jerome Ford was contained even more, only rushing for 17 yards on nine carries.
DEFENSE DOMINATION 😤— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) January 14, 2024
♦️ 2 TDs
♦️ 4 sacks
♦️ 74 total tackles pic.twitter.com/bUkNIXGz3k
Conclusion and Future
Due to the Chiefs winning last night, the Texans will not be playing another home playoff game this season. Next week, they will either be playing at Baltimore or Kansas City, depending on what happens in the Buffalo-Pittsburgh game Monday night. In the case that Buffalo wins, the Texans will take on the top-seeded Ravens. In the case that Buffalo loses, the Texans will travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs. Either one of these games is very winnable for Houston, especially with the way that Stroud has played.
If the Texans can continue their magical run and end up winning the Super Bowl, it will be the first time in NFL history that a rookie quarterback wins it. It will also be only the third time that a first-year head coach wins the Superbowl, the last being in 1990.